|via (Thanks, Kami, for sharing this!)|
Anne Elliot. I'm not sure what it is about her exactly. But no matter how amazing any of Austen's other heroines may seem, Anne has always had my heart. Right from the very first time I "met" her. I came to Austen's writing and adaptations when I was in my early 20s. My first viewing was P&P (of course....isn't that just about everybody's?) which I thoroughly enjoyed. So much so that I immediately searched out every other adaptation I could get my hands on! And subsequently discovered Persuasion. After watching the '95 version, I was absolutely convinced that Persuasion was the Austen book I wanted to read first. Which I did and loved, loved, loved it!
At the beginning of the story, she's hiding within herself and doesn't even realize it. She made a choice eight years ago that she dearly regrets and when one has that long of a time to dwell on a decision, it eats at you. You draw in and tend to isolate yourself and analyze your own actions and thoughts. (Or tell some of them to Lady Russell who will never truly understand, as much as she might think she does.) Anne is also surrounded by a family of selfish people, none of whom truly know her or understand her. Or even want to understand her.
So you take the Anne from that world and suddenly these people who genuinely care about her opinion appear in her life and what happens? A slow opening up of the beautiful flower that Miss Anne Elliot truly is.
I love what Hamlette says about Anne being strong. It takes a lot of inner strength to do something you don't want to do, and Anne does things she dislikes over and over. She gives up the man she loves. She nurses her "sick" sister back to good spirits. She spends time in the company of Captain Wentworth when she'd rather be anywhere but in his presence. She moves to Bath, a city she hates. And she doesn't whine or complain about these things, but does them the way she does everything: quietly and helpfully. I hadn't thought about describing her that way prior to that post, but I do think it's correct. Anne's inner strength is precisely what has gotten her through the past eight years. Really, it's gotten her through her entire life, because with a father like that...!!!
Character arcs are what interest me in a story, rooting for the underdog and all that. And Anne is so incredibly easy to root for! You want her to reach her full potential and realize that all those negative people in her life don't truly matter at all. And when she does? When she finds her confidence and boldly starts paving her own way? Why then she gets the privilege of receiving that glorious letter from Captain Wentworth! She gets her happily ever after and who better deserves such a thing?
Simply put, Anne Elliot is magnificent. A true literary heroine if ever there was one! :)